Extreme Poetry


The movies of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo

It was an audio-visual shock, a frontal attack on the Sacrosanctity of the pregnant female body, a radical modernization and urbanization of Gothic tropes, and a situationist masterpiece of John Carpenter-isms… and yet, it was also completely original.

“Out of the blue, into the red.” We never heard this jarring expression before 2007. An appropriate title for this film was À L’intérieur, which means, of course, Inside. Two young French friends, Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo, wrote and directed this masterpiece of eerily romantic physical horror. At the time, they were both proponents of the so-called ‘French New Extreme Wave’ – which actually didn’t exist, but had been conceived by journalists desperate to find an appropriate label. Needless to say, what they were doing was more interesting, radical, and clearly different than the work of most of their (French) contemporaries.

After an ill-fated attempt to start in Hollywood, (they’d been tentatively commissioned to produce a remake of Clive Barker’s psycho-sexual horror masterpiece HELLRAISER for producer Harvey Weinstein, which they ultimately opted against in favour of focusing on their own original work) they returned to the Old World.

Their second film LIVID made the chill yet romantic roots of their art even more recognizable. Followed by AMONG THE LIVING , their art form has become so exceptional and distinctive that Maury & Bustillo are quickly becoming established as a phantasmagorical directorial duo similar to the likes of Forzani & Cattet. Once you go inside, where it is as beautiful as it is cruel, you might never be able to get out again.